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Hum Do Hamare Baarah row: 5 Bollywood films that were termed Islamophobic – The Siasat Daily

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Mumbai: On August 5, Bollywood actor Annu Kapoor announced his upcoming film ‘Hum Do Hamare Baarah’ by dropping its first poster. From the poster, it can be made out that Annu is playing the head of a Muslim family, and has 11 children, while the wife is expecting their twelfth child. Directed by Kamal Chandra, the film is said to be a commentary on the population explosion in India.
However, the poster has not sat right with the Muslim community and is being criticized for being ‘openly Islamophobic’ and depicting Muslims ‘as the reason for population explosion’. On Sunday, Rana Ayyub took to Twitter to raise her voice against the attack on the Muslim community.
How does the censor board allow a film like this that depicts Muslims as the reason for population explosion and extends the relentless attack on the community. The brazen hate and Islamophobia when they use the image of a Muslim family and call it ‘Hum do Hamare Barah’. pic.twitter.com/UFsRqGgF89
Since then, Annu Kapoor and director Kamal Chandra have been criticized for being ‘Islamophobic’.
However, it is to be noted that this is not the first time a Bollywood film has been criticized for being Islamophobic. In the past few years, several films have irked the Muslim community for their portrayal of Muslims and Islam on screens.
So, in this write-up, we have compiled a list of 5 recent movies that stirred controversy for being Islamophobic. Scroll ahead to have a look.
Starring Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, and Pallavi Joshi in pivotal roles, Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files is centered around the 1990s mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir. While the film turned out to be one of the highest-grossing films of 2022 and also received accolades from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some sections of society had termed the film as ‘ highly Islamophobic’, ‘agenda-based’, and ‘provocative’.
Why: The movie was criticized on the grounds that instead of focusing on the plight of Kashmir Hindus, it has extremely vilified the Kashmiri Muslims. It has been accused of being one-sided and undermining the sacrifices of Kashmiri Muslims.
In fact, a Muslim cleric from Jammu and Kashmir had called for the ban of The Kashmir Files and had said, “We condemn the makers of the movie. Can’t they see the pain of Muslims? Why are they just focusing on Pandits?” As of now, the film is banned in Singapore for the one-sided portrayal of Muslims.
Written and directed by Rohit Shetty, Sooryavanshi stars Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in pivotal roles. The film follows DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, the chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad as he tries to uncover one of the biggest and deadliest threats Mumbai has seen. Although Sooryavanshi went on to become the highest-grossing Hindi film of 2021, it has been criticized for its rigid views and misrepresentation of Muslims.
Why: According to the Indian Muslim community, Sooryavanshi peddled the ‘Good Muslim vs Bad Muslim’ narrative which can prove to be problematic and dangerous to the peace of India. Furthermore, a report in The Quint accused Sooryavanshi of “criminalizing normal Muslim behavior” and associating “things that a large number of Indian Muslims feel, say or do in their daily life” with terrorists.
Starring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, and Kajol, Tanhaji revolves around the life of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare and his attempts to recapture the Kondhana fortress once it passes on to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who transfers its control to his trusted guard Udaybhan Singh Rathore. At its core, it looks like a normal historical film, however, the film was termed ‘Islamophobic’ for its wrong portrayal of the Muslim rulers of India.
Why: The film was criticized on the grounds that the Battle of Kondhana in 1670 was grossly misrepresented and exaggerated. The film portrayed that the war was fought on the basis of religion although the generals on both sides of this battle (Udaybhan and Tanhaji) were Hindus themselves. Udaybhan who is the general of Aurangzeb’s army is depicted as a meat-eating and kohl-eyed villain.
Padmaavat is a 2018 Indian period drama romance film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles. The film is based on the sacrifice of Padmaavati, pursued by sultan Alauddin Khilji, who had ransacked the kingdom of Chittor and killed Padmaavati’s husband. The film was termed Islamophobic too.
Why: Critics had disliked the portrayal of Khilji as a stereotypical evil Muslim king whereas, Ratan Singh was portrayed as the righteous Hindu king. According to critics, Khilji, played by Ranveer Singh, was shown as a Muslim ruler ‘who suppressed his wife, back-stabbed people, went after Hindu women, and devoured food like a beast’.
Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, Lipstick Under My Burkha is a lady-oriented film that starred Ratna Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra, and Plabita Borthakur. The movie shows the secret lives of four women who are in search of their freedom. Konkona and Plabita played the role of Muslim women.
Why: A group of Muslim leaders in Bhopal had passed a resolution advocating the boycott of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and asked the central government to ban the movie for hurting the community’s religious sentiments. According to them, the film mocked Islamic culture and nobody had the right to talk about a woman’s choice of wearing the burkha in a negative way.
Apart from these 5 recent movies, Vidyut Jammwal’s latest film ‘Khuda Haafiz: Chapter 2 – Agni Pariksha’ also came under fire for hurting the sentiments of the Shia Muslim community. An FIR was lodged against the film director Faruk Kabir in Hyderabad. According to the complainants, a song called ‘Haq Hussain’ in Khuda Haafiz 2 showed the Shia community and the Muharram procession in a bad light by showing them as violent. Furthermore, they accused the filmmaker of mocking the holy ritual by showing violence.
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